full stack developer back front findOnce upon a time, not so long age – everyone was a specialist, the more detailed the better. Oh, there were some exceptions like project managers and mothers but as the titles got longer the specificity got narrower. Now that tide is turning, we are seeing a resurgence of General Practitioner physicians, multi-discipline educators and in the technology world – full stack developers & engineers.

First, we need to get clarity on these two terms. Full stack developers work with both the front-end (the visible part) and the back-end (what’s behind the curtain – databases and infrastructure) of the product. Usually the developer may be more skilled in one or the other but has enough knowledge to work with competence in the other area. A step—or several—more advanced is the full stack engineer. A full-stack engineer has the skills and capabilities of a full-stack developer with several years of experience combined with project management and systems administration.

As a general rule, he two branches of development are distinct enough that it can be best to have both front- and back-end developers, provided its financially feasible. But a really skilled full-stack developer can be just what a start-up or a new project needs.

So, how do you determine which you need? There are some basic parameters to consider – what dollars are you wanting to spend to fill this role/roles? That can be the real deciding factor, if your funds are limited you want to get the most for your investment. Secondly, what are the culture and climate of your work environment? If you have a team mindset where everyone works together towards the goal, find the team’s weakest link, and hire to fill that position. A single developer, in either a start-up or new project needs to be able to work by himself and meet goals with little or no assistance. In this case its less about culture and more about mindset.

This is where working with a professional technology recruiter can really help you make the best hiring decision. The independent recruiter will work with you to understand your needs and environment. With his deep understanding of the technology industry, he will be able to let you know what your peers may be doing and what has worked in other similar situations. Plus, with the resources the recruiter has to find the best candidates your options can really expand.

Finding the optimum solution to your development needs can be tricky, and whether you decide to go with ‘specialists’ or a ‘generalist’, working with a professional recruiter can make all the difference!